This post is all about changing your relationship with your home. You two need a fresh start!  However, you need to understand some trends that are going to be huge in 2021 before digging in. This design 2021 trend forecast will give you the direction you need and some trends that you shouldn’t ignore.

This year has changed us all. 2020 has forced us to stay in our homes. It sounds strange to say “forced” to stay home. Our home is supposed to be our sanctuary, our safe place to unwind, relax, refresh, and renew. But when you are told you must stay there; it became something else. It became our office, our gym, our schools and our Friday night out – as well as our home. It became our “everything” space in 2020.  

 I have had so many clients see their home differently, and because of that we are seeing a surge in remodels and updates. 

In the past, clients have let their homes become the place they went after a long day. They stopped looking at them after a while, and when they decided a future move may be in order, they called me. We planned, drew, and designed an update. They paid for a remodel to bring their home up to a standard so they could recoup the money from their investment.  If I had a dime for every time I said,” your home needs to be updated, you should do this now so you can enjoy it before you move”. 

When I think about the trends that would alter the direction of an update, I think of the PLAN or flow of the home, STYLES that are emerging, COLORS that make it fresh, the FURNISHINGS to put in it as well as the MATERIALS AND PATTERNS that should impact the overall design. Let’s look at each one of these. 


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THE PLAN – how your home works for you.

I have spent a lot of my design time opening up floor plans over the past many years – guess what……….., they are closing again.  Don’t freak out- this year has just taught us we all need our space so there is an emphasis on “room’s.  However, the open floor plan is deep rooted, so there are ways to achieve this without adding walls back in.  Privacy can be achieved, and spaces defined by partitions, sliding doors and furnishings that close us off when needed etc.   One specific area worth discussing in your home is still the kitchen.  The kitchen, which is the heart of the home is growing a bigger heart.  The old work triangle is now moving toward more of a work trapezoid.  Everyone lands in the kitchen for cooking, eating, talking, homework, drinks etc. etc.  Dedicating areas for function such as chopping, prepping, baking etc. keep areas clear for all the other tasks now being performed there.  Expansive kitchens and the payback you get out of updating them are very much still on trend.    

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”57″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]STYLES – here is what’s coming our way. 

2020 was scary and we were drawn toward anything that comforted us.  As we move into 2021, we are hanging on to that notion.  Searching for comforting components of past styles is becoming chic.  Combining the old and familiar with the new and fresh will be on trend. 

Some styles you will be hearing are; Victorian, art deco, rustic vogue, vintage, and grand millennial

These styles won’t appeal to everyone, but to someone that loves their modern home but wants to inject some character and comfort into it – you will be spot on for the look.   The clean lines of yesterday will lean toward interesting features, such as exposed beams, original floorboards, or interesting walls.   

What do these aesthetics all have in common? A little frightening, but you will start to see items such as Fringe, trim, skirted furniture, slipcovers, drapery, chinoiserie, scenic wallpaper, gilded finishes, floral, and ornamental details- think contemporary takes on historic.  Mid-century has owned our last decade, and it will be starting a significant decline in 2021.  

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”58″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]COLORS – Warm and earthy colors are coming back. The greys are getting warmer. These colors will make our homes warmer and cozier.  Examples of the colors and combinations of colors coming in 2021 are…I am going to say it……….hold on……….jewel tones. I thought I would be dead before I had to say that again, but emerald green is everywhere, walls, cabinets etc.  Other jewel tones such as cranberry/merlot or plum combined with marigold are going to be joining the refreshed colors as well.

Muddy colors such as olive green, brown, and camel will be emerging as the new neutrals in addition to toasty and warmer greys, bronzes, and parchment. Burnt orange, cognac, cinnamon or amber- colors with yellow or red undertone will be just right and you will see them paired with almost any blue from navy to sky. Blues that are soft and calm will be everywhere. Pastels and soft colors such as pinks, corals and seafoam green will be the go-to.

But ………. black and white will still be a strong component in the new year (thank you Jesus)

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”59″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]FURNISHINGS – did you see that commercial during 2020 with the guy sitting on a sunken old couch, unbathed and unshaven saying, “staying home, sitting on my couch taught me I need to make a lot of changes………starting with this couch.”?  I have to say, it’s one of my favorites!  Everyone was looking to make updates to their furniture this year, and the trend seems to continue. However, there is a change in what they are looking to buy. The trend is toward better furniture with more emphasis on sustainability. Furnishings that are higher quality. Craftsmanship and artisan made pieces may become our heirlooms and are being selected over quick ship styles. Investing in quality pieces that can last and are friendlier to the environment is definitely on-trend. 

So… what do these pieces look like you ask?  Curvy is in with tighter cushions that require no flipping.      

Cocktail/coffee and end tables are becoming pieces of art all on their own. New shapes that are unique and materials such as burnished brass, stone and marble as well as new materials are being used. In addition to product, marble, concrete and stone are going on walls (our in-house faux artist has been creating amazing concrete, brick and stone finish wall treatments), on floors and being cut into shapes for tables, lamps and accessories.     

Adding desks in just about any room is now the norm. Most desks are smaller and have storage for allowing us to work when we need to be working, but are pretty when we aren’t working, are on everyone’s list. 

Our homes have turned into our Friday night out. We are seeing a lot of home bar furniture pieces surging onto the market. Built-in bars continue, but for an easier approach, bar cabinets have become a beautiful piece of furniture, adorned with amazing hardware and stocked with vintage style barware, and statement gold accessories are being added to various rooms.  “Wow look at that gorgeous piece” turns into do you want olives in that? 

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”60″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]MATERIALS AND PATTERNS – organic materials and naturals are sticking around.  There was a renewed interest in rattan, cane and webbing in 2020 (thank goodness, I just bought all new cane dining chairs). In addition to those, naturals like reed, seagrass, bamboo, and willow are still strong.  Jute and leather are looking like strong players for 2021 as well. Light and bleached woods are prominent and reclaimed wood is a core material that holds a lot of the new looks together.

Metal is still relevant. Forging elegant window and fireplace grills, railing and other accents is still getting the thumbs up. 

Deep plush fibers are big, like chenille and nubby boucles and faux furs, are added for a texture on texture on texture trend. Now let’s talk pattern,

How long have we been saying less is more?……well it’s over. 2021 is re-introducing more is more in regards to pattern. We have been all about minimalism – now think maximalism. The new year will expect you embrace layered patterns with conversational patterns. Think a stripe with a floral with a bold color print and lunging leopards. 

Florals are back and the floral pattern known as chintz is making a comeback. I think everyone my age had a friend, grandmother or relative with a chintz headboard. British garden vibe is invading – Yikes! The surrounded by nature theme can fit just about any design style thank goodness because it is big for 2021 it just looks a little different. Whatever your style, find an outside element and bring it inside in pattern. 

Finally there is still a global influence in pattern such as south American and native American, this is one of my favorites and I love it in a rug. These prints in both bold and pastel are stunning and can ground a room beautifully. 

So there it is 2021! 

Now, here is my disclaimer to the 2021 trend forecast. I have often said to my clients, do not focus on trend,  focus on what you like and are comfortable living in. It is probable that some of it will seep into our plans, but my advice is to make it personal. That’s why we have the tag line “this is personal” on some of our marketing pieces. This is about you—- you do you. Make this year one of personalization.  our project should bring joy and make you happy. Your look can be dramatically different than that of your neighbors. That’s what makes my job so great, I can do so many houses, so many styles and honestly, I love them all when they are done right.  The trends are what is coming, what’s “in style” what to expect, but it’s not the rule. 

Happy 2021 – I thought I’d never see you. 




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